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Thread: Oh dear, flushing a lavatory in an older train problem!

  1. #1
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    Default Oh dear, flushing a lavatory in an older train problem!

    A newspaper item recorded this railway tit-bit....

    'Don't flush going over a 153 year old bridge in case waste falls on engineers working below. Announcements are made on trains using the Royal Albert Bridge in Plymouth asking people to wait until they reach the other side before flushing. Network Rail said 'There are still trains that flush on to the track.' "

    Just goes to show with all these modern trains you forget there are stil some old stock about.

  2. #2
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    An old buddy of mine (when I still had buddies...) had one of those signs in his bathroom "Do not flush while train is in station". I've been looking for one ever since, but haven't found the type I want yet!

  3. #3
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    It reminds me of a trip on the overnight Leningrad-Moscow sleeper back in the 1980s where they still had the old system. When we allowed into the toilet I was first in and came back in hysterics. It was all in stainless steel with massive pipes along the wall and the hole in the pan was so large you could almost fall through it.
    John,
    (A bear of little brain)

  4. #4
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    And what about all the poor people sailing underneath on the Tamar, eww. I never thought of that when I'm there, surely not in this day and age with strict water laws?

  5. #5
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    I remember my first trip on Amtrak (it had to be 1976 or 1977) and I flushed and saw the ties flashing by through the hole in the bottom of the train..... quite a surprise!

  6. #6
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    At least in the main we are moving on these days! Years ago a friend of mine was in the lavatory and he thought there was someone behind him as he glanced slightly to one side whilst standing. He turned round with a small sense of shock to shout at someone only to fall about laughing himself daft. There as an almost full length mirror on the wall behind him!

  7. #7
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    Hence the name 'long drop' ?

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by slabay View Post
    I remember my first trip on Amtrak (it had to be 1976 or 1977) and I flushed and saw the ties flashing by through the hole in the bottom of the train..... quite a surprise!
    Not as surprising as the phemomenom of automatic door opening while you're in the middle of your ablutions. This happened to me on a train some years ago. The instructions for the door locking combination of buttons wasn't very clear and I must have misaligned the Jupiter and moon symbols. Anyway, as I was about a ha'penny through, the whole side of the jacks slid aside to reveal me to the entire carriage!

    The only upside being that I wasn't the only person to suffer such humiliation.

  9. #9
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    Hi Everybody.
    I remember very clearly when the first HST's were introduced on the Bristol to Paddington service in the late 1970s the toilets still flushed straight onto the line. It would seem that nobody had thought of the problem that the old carriages with an average speed of 40 to 50 mph the effluent would go straight down onto the track, hence the signs in the toilet stating do not use the flush while the train is standing at a station.

    However, suddenly we had top speeds of 120 mph and sewage then never reached the track it would just smear along the bottom of the carriages getting into all the electrics, braking system and everything else. Within days of them coming into operation the engineers working in the service pits underneath the carriages at the Bristol maintainence centre where refusing to work on them unless they were completely steamed off right through their undersides before being serviced overnight.

    The problem and dispute was well reported on the local television and very much went to the detriment of the HSTs introduction which had been carried out only a week or so before. We had seen a full launching ceremony with all the press and television in attendance. but once in service the passengers standing on stations where also complaining of the smell coming from the carriages that despite being steam cleaned underneath every night were absolutely "minging" by mid-afternoon on the following day.

    The carriages had to be quickly redesigned to allow the sewage to remain on board and this is delayed full introduction of the HST service for quite a number of months. Still all that crap must have brought the HSTs some long-term luck as they are still in service today but will be unfortunately replaced when the line is electrified over the next couple of years.

    Bill
    Last edited by wholbr; May 9th, 2012 at 03:12 PM.

  10. Default

    Bill, I get all queasy when I'm under a loco or carriage that is only covered in grease and oil. I can quite undersand why people refused to work on stock covered in merde. Hehe.

  11. #11
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    Hi pfx and everybody.
    Yes pfx here in the West Country the HSTs certainly had a very colourful introduction (mostly brown with a touch of green). I would imagine the station announcement at Bristol Temple Meads on their introduction would probably go something like " the train now smelling on platform 15 is the 16:45 for London Paddington stinking at Bath, Swindon, Reading and London Paddington ".

    I would also bet that when stopped at a station on that journey it had customers in the buffet car sniffing at morning bacon sandwiches if the window was open on the slam doors as it progressed along its journey and the "goo" started to build up. I also wonder how many strange looks past between passengers as one thought that the other had had an accident HaHa.

    Still HST has had a wonderful history and was a British design and build that was well before its time in the 1970s. It demonstrated to the rest of the world how passenger railways could be run and I believe it has been pivotal in turning around the fortunes of the British rail industry. It is still my favourite train to travel on as I love to hear the roar of the diesels in the power cars and the scream of the Turbos as they leave stations and accelerate up to their 100 mph cruising speed (it still raises the hairs on the back of your neck no matter how many times you hear it)

    They have been involved in three major accidents here in England but never has the cause being put down to any fault with the HSTs. I do not know if you have any across the water there on your island Pfx (LoL) the but if you have I would definitely make sure you take a final trip on one of them before they are finally withdrawn from service.

    from a very nostalgic Bill still in the office and supposed to be working this evening and not laughing and joking on the Trainz forum, HaHaHa.

    Bill
    Last edited by wholbr; May 10th, 2012 at 02:19 PM.

  12. Default

    Bill, happily I've had the pleasure of travelling on an HST numerous times prior to me 'emigrating'. Hehe. Although I was always keen to get aboard, it wasn't until GNER had the ECML franchise that I got a chance. Always used to see a GNER set leaving Kirkcaldy when I was waiting on a train back to Embra after visiting the then Mrs PFX's parents. The engine noise was fantastic. I have to admit I also like the 225 stock too, though it was still GNER running the service last time I was on one.

    Sadly, there is and never was an equivalent on I╔ or NIR tracks. All loco hauled stuff over here until fairly recently and while the Enterprise and a few Intercity services are still loco hauled, the majority of stock is provided by modern DMU sets which is quite boring. On the upside, I still get to play with a few preserved diesels which is very interesting to say the least!

  13. #13
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    On the subject of 'stinking' HSTs, another early olefactory issue was the smell of the brakes, the pungent-acrid reek of whose resin was very efficiently distributed throughout the interior thanks to the air-conditioning. Worst when applied quickly at high speed - a not uncommon occurrence in the early days when very high speeds were commonplace. (I travelled between Reading and London daily for much of the late seventies and early eighties, usually returning on the 23.00 ex-Paddington, a particularly fast run where the hasty application of the brakes was far from rare: I can still recall the resultant reek.)

    The introduction of the 'InterCity 125' service certainly increased passenger numbers on the Western Main Line, and they were really comfortable (especially while they still had the predominantly four-seats-to-a-table layout before all the extra airline-type seating was shoe-horned in to increase seating capacity.)

    Although I'm far from the Thames Valley now, I'm still very much aware of HSTs, since the Dundee - Aberdeen line, whilst not visible from the house, is well within earshot, and four 125 services in each direction make their presence strongly felt as they comply with the "Whistle" boards as they rush towards the occupation crossing down to the beach.

    As a sadder footnote, could I mention one other modification that was added to HSTs after introduction? The central door locking system. Even in the earliest days, some journeys out of Reading were standing -room only, and many standees chose to stay in the end vestibules with their end-hinged doors. There were unfortunate cases of people falling to their deaths from these doors whilst the trains were at speed, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and it was suggested that the doors might be opening of their own accord whilst people leant against them - from personal experience I can certainly say that the big diagonally sloping grab-handles on the doors were quite comfortable to perch on if there were no seats available. There were petitions made about the doors' safety, and eventually the locking systems were installed. **

  14. #14
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    There was once a piece of classical music in which the lyrics as follows were suggested.

    "Passengers will please refrain from flushing in the station main..." Maybe that was way back time wise, but who's to say.

    Cheers

    AJ

  15. #15
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    Not meaning to hi-jack the thread guys , but you's remind me of when we used to ride on the trains as youngsters and had hot boiled eggs in stock ( from the hot water in the basin ) The train would stop and the always hungry and patting their empty stomachs troops would gather around and we would throw them the hot eggs - very professional juggling would follow along the ranks till the egg was cool enough to gobble up .
    Back to the lav story - Once or twice I remember the water would be finished and one could not flush...what plans were all made, I wonder ?

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